A call to arms

To the editor:

It may still be possible to save part of the Hollywood we have always known, even though it is in danger of disappearing forever. Our community, the homeland of many of us, is eroding during the strike.

Part of the disappearance of our workplace is due to the worldwide spread of moviemaking. Huge stages and lots, with communities of workers to maintain them, now are unnecessary and uneconomical.

Filmed entertainment is being created everywhere by everyone. All that now is absolutely essential is smart and strong distribution.

There may still be employment for some of the tens of thousands of talented and experienced filmmakers around us here. But if they have no work for a period of time they will of necessity go elsewhere. Much of the product that they have traditionally created will come from anywhere. It may be distributed by many of the same "studios," but not made by them.

I have been a member of Hollywood unions since graduation from USC in cinema 68 years ago.

I watched American International Pictures try to collect film rentals from Sumner Redstone's theaters, sat in a room for two years just writing new ideas for films at Columbia Studios, got Marilyn Monroe out of bed twice. Unions have helped make it possible for my family and me, and I want it to survive!

The only way I see is to select a group of the women and men who share a love of our life to get together and work out the agreements. The current negotiators would be nearby, to answer questions, but not to participate in policymaking.

Those saving Hollywood would be all the former presidents of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, plus key execs and local editors, the deans of the cinematic divisions of our local colleges and a few local statesmen and stateswomen.

Yes, this is a call to arms, minds and hearts.

Julian Myers

Longtime PR exec Myers can be reached at julian@julianmyerspr.com.